ZBA February 9, 2005

                                                                              DRAFT FILED:  2/18/05
                                                                             FINAL APPROVAL:  3/9/05


MEMBERS PRESENT:   Donald Sapir, Chairman
                                         Rhoda Stephens
                                         Ruth Waitkins
                                         Paul Rolnick
                                         Witt Barlow

ALSO PRESENT:            Joseph Sperber, Code Enforcement
                                         Anfiteatro Anfitiatro, Fire Inspector

Meeting came to order at 8:00

The Chairman of the Board announced the location of fire exits.


Adam & Kristy Cohen, 14 Lounsbury Rd., Section 67.20 Block 2 Lot 34.  Located in a RA-9 District.  Requesting a lot depth, side yard, and rear yard variance with respect to a proposed addition.

Jeff Wilkinson, Architect, represented the applicants Adam & Kristy Cohen.

Wilkinson – The applicants are requesting a side yard and rear yard variance on an existing lot that does not conform to depth.  We are intending to join the existing house to the garage and adding living space.  We will need a six foot side yard on the south side.  The plan is to create a nice facade and front courtyard entry way.  There is a two car garage and off-street parking.  The existing lot is in a RA-9 Zone and the house was built approximately l952.

Sapir – What is the rear yard you are seeking?

Wilkinson – 8 ft. rear yard.  The existing house does not conform.  The lot is 100 ft. x 100 ft. that conforms to square footage, but the lot depth does not.  There are no houses or plans for houses in the rear, it is a lot owned by the Croton Community Nursery School.

Sapir – Have you been in touch with Nursery School?

Wilkinson – Notices were sent by the Village.  The present square footage is eleven hundred square feet, it is one and one half stories.  Excuse me, I made a mistake, the current house is one thousand four hundred eighty square feet.  It will be 38% with the addition.  We would use vertical board and we would match the siding.  The elevations are shown on the plans in the packages that were sent to the Board.

Sapir – What will the hardship be if the variance is not granted?

Mr. Cohen – It is a small house and we need more living space and we intend on having a family.

Sapir -  How many bedrooms do you have?

Mr. Cohen -  We presently have three bedrooms, two of them are small.

Sapir – What will the space be utilized for?  Do you have a family room?

Cohen – We would like to enlarge the living room and entry way.  The current living room is part of the small eat-in kitchen.

Sapir – The kitchen will be enlarged?

Cohen – Yes, we would like to.

Mrs. Cohen  – The old living room will become the dining room

Mr. Cohen – We currently have two bathrooms.  We will have three.

Sapir – Is there any other way to achieve this without a variance?

Wilkinson – The second floor walls are very low.  They start at about four feet.  It is not a large volume house.  Any practical addition would need a variance. Not to have a straight line for the house does not make sense for everyone involved.  Our
plans serve the best function for the space they have and makes the most sense from the planning point of view.  The added space we are proposing to add does not need a variance.  It is only because we are attaching the addition to an existing non-conforming garage

Sapir – How far is the back of the house to the rear yard line?

Wilkinson – We had a new survey done.  The survey that came with the house was inaccurate.   The new survey gives 22.8 ft. exactly from the rear line.
Barlow – You could move it forward, so the front would be in line.

Wilkinson – Yes, we could do that, but it does not make sense from a planning point of view.  

Barlow – You have three bedrooms, two of which are small.  We have no second floor plans.

Wilkinson– We are not doing any work upstairs.  We will be creating a larger loft with open space.

Barlow – There is no second story in the proposed addition, so the bedrooms stay the same and the living-room increases?

Wilkinson – Correct.

Stephens – Will there be heat in the loft?

Wilkinson – It will be heated, but it will only have a four foot high ceiling.

Mr. Cohen – The main bath upstairs has a ceiling that is like a Swiss Alp style, so we would like to raise that up on the second floor that will be the only roof change.

Wilkinson – Yes.  I forgot about that.  That is correct.

Barlow – So you are gong to leave the bedrooms as they are?  That is an important question, because if we give you the variance you could build up if you want.  The bedrooms are obviously going to be a problem in the future, because they are small now.

Cohen – the dining room on the first floor could become a bedroom and we could shift the first floor rooms.  But, that is not in our plans now.  Adding a bedroom and taking up more space is not what we want to do.

Mrs.Cohen – There is a dining room that is very separated and if we needed a larger bedroom we could use the old dining room in the front of the house.  There are other ways to do that.

Rolnick – I see you will lose some big trees.   

Rolnick – (to Joseph Sperber, Code Enforcement Officer) – Will they need any special permits for that?

Sperber – No.  Not for an improved lot.

Mrs.  Cohen - If we were to add on the other side there would be a lot more trees that would need to be removed.  Our proposal is the best way with the least amount of disturbance..

Sapir – Any other questions?

There was no reply.

Hearing Closed

Rolnick – Made Motion to Grant the variance as requested and according to plans submitted with the following condition:

        The siding must match the existing house.

Stephens – Second the Motion

Vote:  5-0 In Favor

John Milano on behalf of Elizabeth Milano, 42 Bungalow Rd.  Section 79.09 Block 9 Lot Request for a side yard and total side yard variance with respect to an existing non-conforming deck.

John Milano – (Representing his Mother Elizabeth Milano)- We have an existing deck.  I think it was on the house when the house was built.  The house was built with the deck intention wise.  It has a three foot door coming off the living room, it would have needed a platform to come in and out of the house.  I think this was according to the original plans.  The as-built survey was prepared one and one half months after the Certificate of Occupancy was issued.

I have lived in the house since l969, it abuts the park and there is a paper road, and the deck exceeds the boundary.   It should be at least 8 ft. in the front.

Sperber – Eight feet is the amount that is required for the side yard not the front yard.

Sapir – How much of a side yard do you need, is it 4 ft.?

Milano _ I am asking for a 4 ft. side yard.

Sapir –How did the need for a variance come up?  Is your house for sale?

Milano – Not yet, but in the future. We are also planning to construct a house in the back lot.  My mother owns the house, so we will be applying for a permit for a building lot.  There are three existing lots.

Sapir -  How did you find out that you needed a variance for the existing deck?

Milano – The original blueprint did not show the deck existing, but the survey that was done one month and 15 days later did.  The way the house is designed it seems that it would have needed a porch.  It had to be there.  Maybe there was a variance given years ago.  

Sperber – There is a discrepancy between the plans that were approved and what was actually built.  There is a survey showing the deck on the house.

Milano – this survey was brought up-to-date in 1969 and a Certificate of Occupancy was issued in April 1969.  

Milano – The deck was originally cantilevered.  I re-did it and I put in new joists and wiring was done.

Sapir – Who built the house?

Milano – My father.  I don’t know what happened.  I was just a kid.

Sapir – If the variance were to be denied what would you do?

Milano – I don’t know.

Sapir – How would you get in the house?

Milano – I don’t know.

Discussion followed over plans.

Sapir – If you had to take the deck down, would you have to put in a spiral staircase?

Milano – Something like that.

Barlow – Your property line gets narrow there.  If the deck did not go beyond the door would you still need a variance?

Sperber – From the closest distance from the property line to the corner of the deck they need one side yard of four feet and total side yard of five feet.

Barlow – That does not look like a thirty-five year old deck.

Milano – I renovated the deck.

Barlow – But it is not a new deck.

Milano - No.  It is the same size as the survey.  I had a friend worked on it and he put posts on it.  I would like to keep it as it is.

Barlow – Does it have a door on the other side of the house?

Milano – Yes.  But, this is the front of the house and you need this door.   This is basically what you see when you come up the road.  If my mother goes to sell the new people would definitely want this deck.  

Barlow – But, you said you do not have any plans on selling now.

Milano – She may have plans to sell tomorrow, but it could hold up a sale and then it would take months to clear.

Sapir – You said your house was built in 1969?

Milano – Yes.

Sapir – Anyone else like to be heard?

There was no reply.

Hearing closed.

Stephens– Made Motion to grant a side yard variance of 4 ft.  and total side yard variance of 5 ft.

Waitkins – Second the Motion.

Vote – 5-0 – In Favor -  Stephens, Waitkins, Sapir, Rolnick, Barlow

Nance Shatzkin, Agent/Symphony Knoll Affordable Housing.  Mount Airy Rd. Section 67.20 block 3 Lot 2.  Located in a RC District.  Request for height and stories variances with respect to a proposed Multi-Family residence.

Nance Shatzkin/Croton Housing Network/Affordable Housing – My name is Nance Shatzkin and I am the Agent for Symphony Knoll. Stuart Markowitz, Architect, is also present with me this evening.  Before Mr. Markowitz speaks to the Board, I would like to submit photos from Saturday’s balloon raising.

Photos were submitted to the Board.

Markowitz – My name is Stuart Markowitz, Architect, 1 Baltic Place, Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y.   My client is proposing to construct an eleven unit affordable housing on the south side of the property that now accommodates Mt. Airy Woods.  There will be a sub-division of a lot line change from the McClure property and the citing of the proposed construction will be mostly on the McClure property, which is a flatter site then the bulk of the property.  The variances that we are requesting are for height.  The RC Multi-family District is limited to two stories and thirty (30) feet in height.  We are asking for three stories and thirty-five (35) feet in height.  We flew balloons, so everyone could determine the proposed height.  We actually moved the balloons to the higher corner because of the trees, which is about five feet higher than what is proposed and it was still not that visible. The first photo shows the balloons from the driveway entrance to the Symphony Knolls side of the property.  The second photo shows the design superimposed on that view.  The third photo was taken from the street entrance to Mt. Airy Woods driveway, which is shown on the site plan.  The next photo is the first view of the balloons that we flew at the corner of Reinhardt.  

Sapir – If there is anyone here tonight who is interested in this application they are welcome to review the photos.

Discussion followed over photos.

Markowitz – The site is somewhat over four acres and the disturbance is to less than three quarters of an acre.  We want the proposed design to limit the impact on the site.  We want to tuck the bulk of the building into the wooded area and to use the knoll that is there to help shield the house and limit the impact on the site and the neighbors.

Sapir – How many units will there be?

Markowitz – Eleven units and approximately 20 parking spaces.

Stephens – What is the purpose of this project?

Markowitz – To create affordable housing.  There will be eleven one bedroom units.  Eight apartments will be approximately 650 sq. ft. and the others will be approximately 800 sq. ft.

Shatzkin - Our priority is for Senior Citizens.

Markowitz – The current waiting list they have is the remainder from what was available from Discovery Cove.

Sapir – If you do not receive the variances you are requesting, how many units would you build?

Markowitz – It would still be eleven units, but the footprint would be larger.

Rolnick –What percentage of the lot would it cover?

Markowitz – There will be less than three acres of disturbance on four acres.  Because of the topography of the site we are focusing our development in the central portion.

Discussion followed over plans.

Markowitz – (referring to plans) this portion of the property is wooded and has a steep hillside.  The purpose of the variance and our intention is to limit the amount of trees to be taken down and disturbance.

Rolnick – You need a variance for the number of stories too?

Markowitz - Correct

Rolnick – Is there no control over the coverage of the building, besides the size of the lot?

Sperber – Given the size of the lot I do not think it will exceed the floor ratio that is allowed.

Markowitz – The floor ratio would be nine percent.

Sperber – Nine percent for any zone would be well below the floor ratio that would be allowed.

Discussion followed over floor area ratios.

Sperber – This is the only zone that does not allow a three-story structure and thirty five feet in height.  

Rolnick – Since one of the photos shown was taken from the fire house on Grand Street, was the purpose to show you can’t see it from Grand Street?

Shatzkin – I think it is important to know that we were taking a photo of one balloon.

Discussion followed over pictures.

Barlow – Is your representation of trees accurate?

Shatzkin – There is a tree survey.

Markowitz. – The way surveyors present them is with small symbols and we enlarged them to show the large trees that were there.

Shatzkin –We were asked to take into account the view shed and to get photos to see what it would look like.  You can’t see the balloons.  You also can’t see the proposed building in relationship to the high school. There is a house on Bayview that is the closest neighbor and you can’t see that on the site.  We have the benefit of the trees as well as the height of the property being able to keep the building in an area that is naturally hidden.

Waitkins – Is the four acre site one parcel?

Shatzkin – It will be when the lot line change is done.  The Housing Network and the Village are discussing it now.  The plan is to take approximately  three and one half acres that the housing network now owns and adjust the lot line to make the McClure property larger and then it will be four plus acres.

Waitkins – Will there be access from that property to that road?

Shatzkin – On Bayview?  No.

Discussion followed over plans with respect to the location of the property owned by the Village and the property owned by the Housing Network.

Shatzkin – The lot adjustment will shift this parcel (referring to plans) to make four plus acres.  This piece (referring to plans) that looks like a roadway is the proposed walking trail.  That there (referring to plans) will become the right-of-way using the original walkway up to the McClure house and up to an old logging road that the trails committee would like to connect to and this would connect the village trails system to create a walking system to the heart of the walking trail.

Sapir – Is it the fact that it is affordable housing that rules?   Is the Code more flexible for affordable housing?

Shatzkin – No.

Sapir – There is nothing on Mt. Airy Rd. that would look anything like the project you are proposing.

Markowitz – Still it will be residential in nature.  Our roof slope is low to minimize and keep it in line with the thirty five foot limit that would be available to a single family home.

Sapir - It looks like a massive building.  I wonder if it would fit on more than sixty percent.  As separate buildings, it would be more in character with the neighborhood.  I am not sure how the Planning Board feels about this.  

Shatzkin – One of the most important aspects of our design is so the aging could stay in one place.  Unless we build into the ridge and cut into the slope, then we are faced with the only way to get to the upstairs building is stairs, and then we would have additional costs to install elevators, and then the footprint would shrink because of the elevators.  That is the progression that led us to a three story design.  We are now trying to create lobby space and we may be pushed to minimize the size of the building.  We are actually in the early stages of the design.

Sapir – Exactly what is affordable housing in Croton?  Is it for seniors who can no longer afford to stay in their home?

Nance Shatzkin – It is kind of a loose term. In our case, of the funding sources available to us the village would get sixty percent of the target.  

The priority is for seniors sixty five and older.  There is also a rule that you can also be called a senior, if you are fifty five.  If you use the fifty five rules, than only one tenant has to be over fifty five.  The spouse can be younger and not a senior and children would be allowed as well.

Rolnick- So this proposal will be for only sixty five and older?

Shatzkin  – If you go with the fifty five rules it could be someone fifty five and someone twelve.

Rolnick - So in your judgment you would not call them seniors.

Shatzkin – We have also provided a priority for people in the Croton area.  Someone  who has lived in the village over five years or a senior parent who has lived with a resident of the village for over five years.  We have found that we have had both categories in equal measure.  Also, those who did not live in Croton, but had children in Croton and wanted to be closer to live closer to them.

Markowitz – Those are the priority groups.   Also, people working for the municipality or working for the school district, those who lived in Croton or moved away because of cost. Those are the kinds of things that create a Croton connection.   With respect to what impact there would be if we don’t build three stories; from a fuel economy point of view a three story is more efficient.  Also separate units would create a footprint that would have a greater impact on the site.  We would have to clear more land and there would be more grading.  Also, our intention is to provide a house for eleven individuals that had some common space and connection for them.  The three buildings are possible but they do not create the common space and the impact would be greater.  

Shatzkin – There is no way to do the three building approach without having a greater impact than if we went with the one building.

Sapir – I do not disagree, but although it would be a greater impact, it would be more esthetically pleasing.  I do not think I would be pleased to be a neighbor of this building that is not in character with what exists in the neighborhood.

Shatzkin – There is a building at the bottom of Mt. Airy that is three stories.

Markowitz -  That is the last building you see before you go up Mt. Airy?  I am not sure if that is three stories.  Some homes on the street side have basements that create the affect of three stories.  We are proposing three stories because it will have less impact.  

Shatzkin – It is necessary to do some kind of rendering, but there is only so far we can go with our design until we know if we can go two stories or three stories.  That is why we are coming to you so early in the planning process.

Sapir – That is why it is so hard for us.  It is our usual practice to grant a variance “according to plans submitted”.  We can’t do that in this case. I am at a loss on how to accommodate you. Maybe a joint meeting with the Planning Board would be helpful.

Shatzkin – We agreed to go back to the Planning Board on February 22, 2005, to keep them updated.

Rolnick – What if we asked you to screen it from the Mt. Airy Road view?

Markowitz – We could effectively do that.

Rolnick – How?

Shatzkin– The site has spectacular pine trees.

Markowitz – They are very tall and there are also spaces that we intend to fill.  We are also proposing to plant at the entry to the site.  We are far lower than the surrounding trees.

Discussion followed over plans.

Shatzkin - At Reinhardt, you lose the view and it puffs out over the rocks.  The balloons were flown  over the height it would be.  The critical exposure is from the existing driveway from Mt. Airy Woods.

Shatzkin – The circular pine by the stone wall provides screening now, as well as a little bit of a gate and some more pines.
Discussion  followed over plans.

Stephens – (Referring to plans) when that comes down the parking area will be more visible?

Shatzkin - Correct.

Architect – The stone wall will help to shield that as well.

Discussion followed over plans.

Barlow – On the tree survey are there some trees you would want to be removed?

Shatzkin – We only expect to remove a minimum amount of trees.  The Planning Board asked us to mark the trees to be removed.  That has not been done yet.  Our goal is similar to yours.

Stephens – I feel we should also be speaking with the Planning Board.  It is hard for us without knowing what they are thinking about this.  

Shatzkin – ….and I am not sure if you could give it without strings.

Sapir – I am not saying I could never vote for three stories and 35 ft.   I just can not say here is your variance and go put it up wherever you want on the site.   We never grant a variance without knowing exactly what it will look like.

Markowitz – we will need to have an architect, surveyor,  and civil engineer, but as far as what it would look like we can provide elevations, sections, and materials now.

Sapir – But then you will be stuck with those drawings.

Rolnick – Why don’t you come back to us when you have it?

Shatzkin – In our case we not only need to do the art drawing, but we also need to file financial applications for the funding the project.  That also plays in how it will be designed etc.  

Sapir – It was not your plan to start construction in the spring; correct?

Shatzkin – No

Markowitz – We need to know how big the building is going to be before we give the plans to the Planning Board.

Sapir – Maybe we should have some kind of a joint meeting with the Planning Board and I am not sure if that would need to be noticed. We will also speak to the Village attorney to see how to go about it.

Rolnick – What is the hardship of a delay like that?

Shatzkin – Just having to put off anything more with the project.

Rolnick – will it be a financial hardship?

Shatzkin –No.

Sapir – If anyone here would like to be heard on this application, we are adjourning until the next months meeting.  If you want to follow this hearing, you need to come again next month.  Once a matter is noticed it is not noticed again.  If you have any questions you would like to ask or if you have any comments, you can speak now and you do not need to come next month unless you have something new to add.  

Audrey Dinkler – 50 Batten Rd. – My mother and father in-laws house is 14 Mt. Airy Rd., opposite the McClure house.  How do you hide a parking lot and will there be a separate entrance?  

Sapir – It is the same entrance.

Shatzkin– We would also plant to hide the parking lot and we are intimately engaged with the Planning  Board for how it will be screened.  That is a process we will go through with the Planning Board.  We will also use stone mason material.

Dinkler – Oh, not another stone wall like the one that exists, it is like the gate of China!

Shatzkin - I would like to keep with one of the property themes which is stone buildings.  The aspect of the original McClure house that we would hope to save is the stone and stone foundation.  That is a design aspect of the site that we would like to keep.

Markowitz.  – Also the elevation difference between the street and the parking level and the screening, will hide those cars to a great extent.

Sapir – When we get the drawings you can show that.

Dinkler – Now she says she will keep the foundation of the McClure house.  What will she put on top of that?

Shatzkin – That foundation would allow another outdoor space as a gazebo, etc., as a communal outdoor space.

Sapir (to Mrs. Dinkler)  – I suggest you follow the meetings and hearings, if interested.

Sapir - Anyone else like  to be heard?

There was no reply.

Hearing adjourned.

Danny Oks, 138 Maple Street.  Located in a RB District.  Section 79.05 Block 1 Lot 39. Request for a variance with respect to Section 230-9-A(4) of the Village Code with respect to a proposed school.

Oks – Barbara Sarbin will speak on behalf of me and the school.

Sapir – This Board received a letter from Witt Barlow, disclosing that he has two children presently attending the preschool kindergarten.  But, they will not be enrolled in the proposed school for which this variance is being sought. Therefore, he feels he can make an impartial decision and need not recuse himself.

Mr. Barlow’s letter to the Board dated February 9, 2005, was made part of the record.

Sarbin – I am Barbara Sarbin, President of Something Good in the World, 624 Croton Ave., Cortlandt.  We lease space at 138 Maple Street.  This is a re-application to the Zoning Board with regard to a variance that originally started on September 13, 2003.  There are no changes to be made to the existing structure whatsoever.  We have all of our necessary credentials with Social Services, Planning Board recommendation, Village Board Special Permit, on July 2004 was submitted to you.  We are currently a group day care home, after receiving the variance at the last ZBA hearing.  We have submitted an application to the New York State Dept. office of non-public schools.  There seemed to have been an administrative oversight where details of a variance that was granted on March 10, 2004, were missing.  So, we have requested in a previous application and this application that this unintentional anomaly be corrected.

Sapir – It was an applicant’s oversight.  The numbers needed for the variances were not provided to us. Do you know the number of feet on each side that you need the variances for?

Sarbin – The calculation was made by Joseph Sperber.

Sapir – The fact that the calculations were made by Mr. Sperber does not give you the right to depend on the accuracy.  We rely on you for the accuracy.

Sarbin -  We believe these numbers to be correct.  They are; west side yard 86.4 ft., east side yard 96.8 ft., and rear to south is estimated at ten, but probably less.   

Barlow – What is total side yard?  

Sperber -  In this case you are not looking at total side yard.  According to the Code with respect to “schools”, you are looking at 100 ft. from every property line.

Sarbin – We were lacking one feature that is clear from the records, and not on the part of the Village Engineer or applicant.  The applicant made a correct application and it was followed by the engineer.  Both applications sought setbacks from all property lines.   It seems clear to me that the ZBA was granting the variances.  We also needed to  apply to the Village Board for a Special Permit,  which we did .  We came back to the ZBA to correct this oversight.  It was clear we were all busy discussing the issues of safety on Maple Street, so somehow this did not get in the final resolution.

Sapir – I think Seymour Waldman, Village Attorney, is correct that this Board had granted all variances necessary to have an accredited school.

Sarbin – Thank you.  It is clear to everyone that these are substantial variances, but in each application to all the boards we are talking about adding only 10 more students and 24 maximum at one time.  This is not a substantial number and when the calculations are done as far as the acreage and setbacks from the road and property lines, this is not a substantial resolution we are talking about.  We gave the application to give an idea of how minimum the space really is.  Any issues with traffic flow and safety were satisfied completely with the Village Board.

Sapir – As far as safety you mean traffic safety?

Sarbin – Yes.  Also, there were some questions as far as safety and evacuation plans.  The fire inspector was very kind to come to the meeting this evening to answer any questions you may have and that only he would be qualified to answer.

Sapir – For the record the school will only operate on the ground floor with four classrooms?

Sarbin – Correct.

Sapir -  Any other questions or would you rather wait to hear from the Fire Inspector?

Rolnick – What obligation would we or any other school have as far as bussing?

Sarbin – We could apply for bussing, text books, etc., which we have not applied for.  Those kinds of services depend on our school dept.  So far no one has applied for those services.  

Sapir – Does the school apply or the parents?

Sarbin – The parents and they also have to be Croton residents and not all of our parents are residents of Croton.

Rolnick – So, what you are also saying is that it is at the discretion of the Superintendent of schools.

Sarbin - Correct.

Sapir – We would now like to hear from the Fire Inspector.

Peter Anfiteatro – My name is Peter Anfiteatro, I am here to answer any questions you may have.

Sapir -  One issue is evacuation.  What can you tell us about this building, size of lot, and evacuation of the building in case of fire?

Anfiteatro - There are two means of egress, either one can be used.  They can go on the side walk or around the corner, at the fire house or Municipal bldg.  If normal means of egress are blocked the windows in the building are close to the ground and they are operating.

Waitkins - These are small children in kindergarten, if a fire should happen where would the kids go once they are outside with all the confusion of cars and fire trucks?

Anfiteatro – Hopefully the teachers and organizers will direct them.  By Code they have to have fire drills.

Sperber – I have also been present during fire drills and the teachers always had designated places on the sidewalks and teachers hold the children’s hands and direct them.

Anfiteatro – I have been Fire Chief for six years.  I am a Certified Code Enforcer, and Fire Inspector.

Waitkins – You have quite a bit of education in this respect.

Sapir – It would be unwise for the children to leave the building and go in the back yard in fact it is a small lot and having to leave the premises, you don’t feel that is any kind of a safety issue itself?

Anfiteatro – Leaving the premises?  No.

Sapir – In an ordinary course of answering calls, does the traffic ordinarily stop in both directions?

Anfiteatro – There is no way for people to get thru once fire operations have started.

Waitkins – So you feel there is no problem with children being evacuated and they will be safe outside.

Anfiteatro – I am comfortable with that, yes.

Sapir – Any other questions?

Barlow – I want to clarify the ages of the kids.  Now they have kindergarten, but they will have first and second graders.

Marilyn Martucci, 148 Maple Street – I would like to thank the Zoning Board Secretary for sending me the notice.  I did not receive a notice for the last meeting.  I wish I lived farther away from this building.  Unfortunately, this building has affected this entire neighborhood.  Several of our neighbors have failed to come forward although they are against this application.  Some of them are elderly and unable to come or they have lived in the community for a long time and are reluctant or afraid to come. The Settapani’s at 152 Maple Street, Font’s at 153 Maple Street and the Garone’s, at 144 Maple Street, asked me to come here this evening. They were unable to come this evening and one neighbor is home with a sick child.  I do not know what the Village Board was supposed to do, but the parking situation was horrible on graduation day.  I believe the Village Board minutes mentioned the only time there would be a lot of cars parked in this area would be graduation day.

Sapir -  How many houses away are you?

Martucci – Three houses between.  I would be the fourth, towards the direction of Yorktown.  On the day of their class picnic I was amazed that only 28 families were at the picnic, because the cars stretched clear up Maple Street and down Maple Street on the park side.  The same situation occurred in December for a holiday open house.  For both of these functions it was both sides of the street parking.  During the day I am not home, but my poor neighbors Mrs. Garone, at 144 Maple Street and the Fletcher’s at 146 Maple Street, who moved, have people continually parking in their driveway.  It is their right as property owners not to have people park in their driveways.  The owner is too sweet to call the police.  Last week my neighbor Mrs. Garone took pictures and you will see two trucks that can’t make it through.  The other picture shows one turning around at 142 Maple Street and another person turning around on Grand Street.  As far as the house is concerned, Mrs. Sarbin stated that there will be no structural changes.  Inside the house the third floor was changed and is now habitable. Maybe they are using the second floor for an office and the attic space for living space or bedroom.  I am very concerned with these variations.  I am very concerned that the amount of footage that has to be granted to Danny Oks is astronomical and please remember that Mr. Oks does not live there, they lease this property.  What is going to prevent people like me and my husband wanting to rent our house as a school?  The precedent has already been set and a school is supposed to be on three (3) acres.  Please Zoning Board members, think of the neighbor’s rights that are prevented to them because of this piece of property.  No offence Mr. Sapir, but previously this evening you said to Mrs.Shatzkin/Symphony Knolls, that you did not like her proposal because it was out of character with the neighborhood.  The impact has been monumental.  It is unbelievable that people can say there are no traffic or parking problems.  But, it truly should be in another location that is not a busy street.  The cars go from my house all the way to 172 Maple Street, across the street, and down.  I am assuming there will be ten (10) more cars when the additional students start attending.  Once child not associated with the school did get hit in this area.  There are huge traffic issues.  Please keep in mind the other neighbors who own property too.  We are not in favor of the side yard setbacks or the variances that were granted last March.  We oppose these variances.

Sapir – How does the traffic you encounter on a usual school day impact the traffic and parking in terms of the ability of people being able to find a parking spot?

Martucci -  During specific times during the day the neighbors have no parking spaced in front of their house and driveways are being blocked, because of school using the area for picking up and dropping off.  It is more than just a nuisance, because this is our driveway and we are paying the taxes.  They are not being respectful of other people’s property. They are lovely people, but the school should be in a different location.  .

Sapir – How is it during Little League games?

Martucci – The Little League is a problem, but I am not here speaking about Little League.

Sapir – Do you have any suggestions on conditions we could impose on them?

Martucci - Maybe you should have a condition that all ingress and egress be through the back door, unless there is an emergency.   I just do not see the reasoning for granting this application.  It was monumental to clear a variance for three acres.  I just want all of you to know that just because it was an oversight, you don’t have to just give them the variance.  The neighbors are very much against the school.  We are not talking about a day care we are talking about a school.  Wouldn’t you just as a member of Croton be concerned that a school is on Maple Street.  It was a group family day care center and people should have been notified and I know the School Board was not notified.  Many people did not know about this.

Sapir – You stated there was an inability to park, is there anything else?

Martucci - Environmentally, it is a huge impact on traffic.  I am also concerned about my neighbors who were not able to come to this meeting.  Their privacy and the happenings during drop off and pick up.  They purchased their property just like the Oks did.  I don’t think any of you would want to be their neighbors.

Rolnick -  I am trying to understand that.  Being unable to park, cars in driveways, it sounds like there is more of an intangible, such as invasion of privacy.  Is that what you are saying?

Martucci -  When children are outdoors, either side and the back, it is a playground.  If 14 kids in the morning and afternoon will have the same thing.  If the neighbors had known when they purchased their houses, they would not have purchased, they would have purchased in a different area.  I am not questioning the school, only the area.  My husband and I could sell our house and who is to say they can’t buy our house and then say they want another school on the same street?  They wouldn’t need the same amount of variances.

Fred Martucci – You are interested in the impact.  It is a neighborhood and this is a wooden house with wooden houses on each side of the street.  You have given them monumental variances.  You now have a facility that should be three acres bulk and 100 ft. from the setbacks.  It would be hard to debate that this application is in character with the neighborhood. I like living across the street from the park and watching the little league, but now there is a wooden house that suddenly has become a school with substantial variances.
Sapir – What is it about that that impacts your quality of life?

Mr. Martucci -  A school is a different life.  It is not the neighborhood.  Our children are going away to school you are welcome to rent a room and stay.  I am confused by how this whole thing was done.  

Barlow -  How come coaches and kids are not a problem, but a school is?

Mr. Martucci – Because, it is a house, it is now a school, that wants to get bigger.

Barlow – We understand about the parking, but not the rest.

Mrs. Martucci -  When you think of baseball season you think a few months out of the year. School is ten months out of the year.  I have seen people on holiday events, picnics, fall functions, and I have seen children opening the door on the driver’s side and they let the children jump out.  Now, maybe Barbara Sarbin is not aware of that because she is inside doing programs.  Even if a ten year old got out on the drivers side, they would be more aware of the traffic than the younger ones.  You have to think of the children.  There are so many issues to look at to provide for a school.  I know the special permit has already been granted and I know the hour is late, but I want the Zoning Board to know that it is a nice diverse neighborhood, but the diversity prevents the elderly from coming forward and I understand you would not know their feelings about this unless they come forward, but there are people that are not pleased with this application.  I think when others come forward for the same type of variance you may want to re-consider

For the record:   Photos that were submitted to the Board for their review were not submitted for the record.  Mrs. Martucci agreed to make additional copies.  Also for the record the photos were taken when the snow was removed.  When snow is not removed the street is even narrower.

Martucci -  Unfortunately, I wish my neighbors could have come.  The Fletcher’s have moved.

Rolnick – Can you elaborate a little more on the drop off situation?

Martucci -  I can only speak to the 5:00 P.M. pick-up and I know you can only park on one side of the street.  I know the parents park in public parking areas such as Elliott’s and they are forced to swing around the village or go down to other public parking areas.

Donna Mikkelson, 138 Maple Street – I live on the second floor.  I know there were many people at the hearings on our behalf.  In fact more than 15 people were present in our behalf in favor or our application.

Mikkelson – We dealt with the parking at length with the Village Board.  We submitted diagrams and statistics.  The only family that did complain were the Fletchers who moved and curiously enough the new owners have children who are enrolled in our school.  This year the parking situation has been horrendous because of the construction at the high school.  There are cars lined up on Maple Street.  High school students have been parking there.  So, I don’t want the parking situation to be put just on us totally.  We have had no problems from immediate neighbors to the left, right, or across the street from us.  We have never had an incident or complaint and I think if there were they would be here tonight.  I do not have a problem.  We live on the second floor.  I do not want children in my house.  We do use the attic for storage.

Sapir – Tell us about the special events that take place.

Mikkelson– We had one parents meeting and one fair for a fundraising event.

Sapir – How many fund raising events do you have per year?

Mikkelson  – One in December.  The baseball games contribute to the problem more than we do.  We have already shown that we are running a family day care.  We are asking for ten (10) more children, it will not impact that much on the traffic.

Rolnick – There is a complete contradiction from the Martucci’s statements.  They have seen kids being let out on the street, not the sidewalk.  That is a contradiction from what you are saying.  That is either true or not true, can you tell us?

Mikkelson - I do not see this.  We are very careful and cautious, it is  part of our handbook and literature.   I assume parents are intelligent people and would comply.

Sapir - Is there anything you do to help parents to be courteous and not turn around in neighbors driveways?

Mikkelson – Parent meetings three times per year.

Sapir – I would like to know exactly what you do.  

Mikkelson – We speak to them and try to get them to understand.   That is just the way it is on Maple Street we have people turning around in our driveway all the time.

Sapir – It is important for me to know what you do to enforce it.

Barbara – Our handbook and literature with safety features of the school.

Sapir – Do you have anyone outside during pick up or drop off?

Mikkelson – No, but we can.  We can have a parent be on the look out and on certain days volunteer.  The coming and goings of the children do not come all at once, it is staggered and by 9:30 all the children are there.  It is never all the children at the same time.

Sapir – I think it might be more of a problem at pick up time.

Mikkelson – We have 14 children and the amount that get picked up is five to ten children at one time.

Sapir – …..and if you had twenty four?

Mikkelson – It would not be that much more, because some stay for the afternoon schedule.  We can stager the sessions and give a half hour between sessions. There are definitely ways to resolve this issue and we want to be in good standing with our neighbors and I feel that up to this point we have been.

Sapir – What would you do to rectify this problem?

Sapir – Have you had any complaints from your neighbors?

Mikkelson - No never.

Our neighbors next door have been to the school.  They have come to play in our backyard we have no problems with any neighbors.

Mikkelson – In response to the variance being enormous with respect to a “school” the ratios are quite different.  We are not taking about a huge amount of children here.

Stephens – To get to your apartment you go through the two front doors that are also used for the school?   Do you also have two means of egress and ingress?

Mikkelson – Yes.  We also have fire drills each month.  Sometimes we have them more than once, because some children may not be there when the drill takes place and they have to be covered.  I just want you to feel certain that this is something we do address.  

Stephens- Will fire drills still be a part of your regulations?

Mikkelson – It will be part of our regulations and the Village Fire Inspector will oversee it.
Sapir – What do you do when it rains and you have a fire drill?

Mikkelson – We walk onto the sidewalk and come back.

Sapir – Where on the sidewalk?

Mikkelson – When you come out to the right and also to the left.

Waitkins – Is the fire dept. there to oversee fire drills?

Mikkelson – No, but we could have him come for one per year.  

Sapir – Where do you go?

Mikkelson – We walk up the road in front of the neighbors houses and then come back.

Sapir – How long do you stay out with them.

Mikkelson – Five minutes, just long enough so they can get the idea.

The Board requested the applicant to submit an evacuation plan.

Sapir – Anyone else like to be heard?

Nicole Channing - 68 Quaker Bridge Rd.  – I want to make note that the one person who complained about the application has said she is not there during the day nor the other person, who came with her. So they do not have direct experience during the day yet they spoke for the people in the neighborhood.  We did not get any direct statement from them.  Also, parents form the school have attended these meetings and are aware of the parking situation.  It is also important for the community to understand the parking issues and the problem with the high school parking problems.

Sapir – When did you first learn of this?

Channing – It is hard to say when I first heard about it.  At meetings, E-Mail, Barbara Sarbin, Donna Mikkelson,  it would be easier for me to recall the number of meetings where there wasn’t safety issues talked about during parent meetings regarding school parking.  It was mentioned that one person became irritated when someone parked in the driveway, but without knowing how many times that occurs, it is hard to determine that is a problem.   The other question I have for you is very confusing to be going over traffic issues today, again.  These issues were already discussed before and the Village Board also discussed them.  We should be concerned with the decision that needs to be made today.  I thought these issues were already resolved with our other meetings and the Village Board.

Sapir – This was an issue then and it is now.

Oks – I am the owner of the property  - I am also a former father of a child who once attended the school and want to speak about my experiences of dropping off and picking up my children who also went to Children’s Space.  I never once could find a parking spot more than thirty feet away from the building.

Sapir – You are not talking about this year.

Oks – Correct. I am not talking about this year.   It is strange to me when I hear that property owner’s five houses away have trouble finding parking.  When there is little league in the summer it is bumper to bumper parking at Kennedy Realty, all the way to the traffic light. There are kids ten eleven, and thirteen years old, who run all over the place.  They cross the street with no supervision.  There is no comparison to safety during the games and pick-up times at The Garden Road; and as opposed to Children’s Space, where you can only park your car on one side and many cars sit double parked waiting for someone to move their car so they can park.  I also want to address the attic.  The attic was recently turned into storage space and the other thing as a resident of Croton, unfortunately Maple Street is a major thoroughfare.  It is the only road that connects between Croton & Yorktown.

Nina Sukumar, 4 Cedar Lane, Ossining – My children are currently in The Garden Road.  This is our fourth year with the Garden Road in Cortlandt and our third year at this location. The school started three years ago with just a few children, so there were was a much longer period spent with the children.  This year they stopped the after school program so the children are in school much less this year than last year.  There are fourteen children, but at different times.  I am actually one of the parents dropping

my children off and leaving and I am always parking on Maple Street where the Garden Road School is.  We are always being told about the parking.  It has always been stated at the meetings, not to park or block in driveways.  Although I know a lot of parents spend time talking within the school grounds when picking up their children, but the parents do try to get their children into the cars as soon as possible.  We can even refrain from that.  We have been told not to spend too much time taking, etc., to get the children into the car as soon as possible.  These people make every effort to be respectful of their neighbors. We do not want the school to be a problem for the community.

Deborah Dilson- 21 Pond Meadow Land - We try to have meeting in other locations.  I live on a privately owned lane in Croton off of Mt. Airy Rd.  Every year we have meetings at my house and almost all parents attend and if you know my road it is a very narrow road.  I can’t believe this amount of cars is causing this much trouble on Maple Street.

Felixbrodt  – 138 Maple Street – I live on the second floor.  I have been living there three years this month.  We have been coming here eighteen months and any job I take, I take seriously and we have met with the Village Board and Zoning Board and some of you several times and there has been a great amount of support shown for the school. So, if there was a concern all of the concerned neighbors would be here and I do not see them.      I live there and I look out the window .and I am at home during the day.  I do not need speculations, assumptions, or thoughts.  This year I have presented the Village Board Member, Charles Kane, the research I did on Maple Street, which showed a minimum of one car per second passing on Maple Street.   

Sapir –Can you talk about the parking?

Felixbrodt – They also park on the other side of Dobbs Park.  I have put notices on their cars and watch every day.  Most of our parents park thirty to sixty feet next to the school.  I can attest to this personally.  They do not want to walk long distances.  I can take a picture of how many people I see from the construction site of the high school.  You can ask every single parent about dropping off and backing up, I am the bad guy on this.   Neighbors are very nice.  I know them personally, these are my neighbors.  I do not want them to hate me because of the highs school parking.  Maybe they should check with the high school about the problem of parking.   Also, we do not want anyone beyond the first floor, it is our space.   We are the only ones on Maple Street who will be able to decrease the speed  limit as the Fletcher’s tried to do for several years.  As a school we would get a high possibility to put these signs, and speed bumps up.

Sapir – Are you saying that, if you become a school you would have a right to put speed bumps in?

Felixbrodt – We would be able to apply for it.   Also the additional children we will have does not add any extra parking or parking problems.  You can accompany me any morning or afternoon for a site visit to see what I say is true.

Sapir – I have a question for Barbara Sarbin.  How many people work there now?

Sarbin - They are all part time:  9:00 A.M.-12:00 P.M. or 12:00 P.M. to 3:00 P.M.

Sapir – How many are there at the same time?

Sarbin  – At the most, three

Sapir – And when you have 24 children?

Sarbin – Maximum of three.

Sapir – Are there any parents that volunteer?

Sarbin – No.

Waitkins – Do the teachers park on the street?

Sarbin – Yes. We park on the Dobbs Park side, so no one would be in the way, because some neighbors have requested nobody park on the side by her house.

Sarbin – I myself on a daily basis watch people do notorious things and it is not us.  

Garry Channing – 68 Quaker Bridge Road   – I drop off and pick up and I have never had to go more than one house away to park.  

Sapir – What time?      

Channing – They start at 9:00 A.M. and leave at 3:00 P.M.  Someone mentioned parents meetings.  They do not happen at the school so that is not a problem.

Simone Kukla – 24 Skytop Drive – I have never had a problem parking.  All parents are courteous using driveways and turning around in a driveway or the road, I have never done that.  I have noticed a difference in the parking, because of the high school students and the construction that is taking place.  Also, when there is snow on the roadway.  That is my observations.

Constance Bynoe – I am a teacher from Cold Spring – The parking situation has been since construction started.  It has never been an issue before.  Also, because of the snow it was made narrower.

Nikia Caprice Fox – 1360 Journeys End Road, Croton – For residents who want to buy in this area it is already know there are three schools in the area.

Sapir – Anyone else like to be heard?

There was no reply.

Hearing closed.

Sapir – Made Motion to Grant a variance from Section 230-9-A-(4) of the Village Code as follows and with the following conditions:

Variances Granted:     96.8 ft. Easterly side yard variance
                                          86.4 ft. Westerly side yard variance
                                          10 ft.  Southerly rear yard variance


1.      The variances granted by this Resolution shall co-terminate with the Special
               Permit, which was granted by the Village Board on July 19, 2004, and expires
              on July 19, 2007, at which time the applicant is required to re-apply to the
              Village Board to re-instate the Special Permit.  The Zoning Board requires the
               applicant to re-apply to the Zoning Board and to obtain this Board’s approval to   
               continue the variances granted by this resolution beyond July 19, 2007.

2.      The school is limited to grades Kindergarten thru second grade.

3.      The number of students shall not exceed twenty-four (24).

4.      The school will operate on the ground floor with a maximum of four classrooms.

Barlow – Second the Motion
Vote:   4-1 – In Favor – Sapir, Barlow, Waitkins, Rolnick, -  In Favor
                                     Stephens – Against

Respectfully submitted,

Janice Fuentes
ZBA Secretary


Adam & Kristy Cohen, has applied to the Zoning Board of Appeals of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, request for a lot depth , side yard, and rear yard variances with respect to a proposed addition.

The property, at 14 Lounsbury Rd., is located in a RA-9, District and is designated on the Tax Maps of the Village as Section 67.20 Block 2 Lot 34.

A public hearing having been held after due notice, this Board from the application and after viewing the premises and neighborhood concerned, finds:

Hardship is not compelling, but there is no reason to deny a variance for the house.  The house is small and they need additional space.  

The variance requested is substantial, but neighbors will not be affected.

There will be no undesirable change to the character of the neighborhood.

The proposed variance will not have an adverse effect or impact on the physical or environmental conditions in the neighborhood or district.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the application is hereby GRANTED as follows:

Rolnick – Made Motion to Grant the variance as requested and according to plans submitted with the following condition:

        The siding must match the existing house.

Stephens – Second the Motion

Vote:  5-0 In Favor

According to Section 230-76 (D), “Unless work is commenced and diligently prosecuted within one (1) year of the date of the granting of a variance or special permit, such variance or special permit shall become null and void.”


John Milano on behalf of Elizabeth Milano, has applied to the Zoning Board of Appeals of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, request for a side yard and total side yard  variance with respect  to an existing deck.

The property, at  42 Bungalow Road, is located in a RA-5, District and is designated on the Tax Maps of the Village as Section 79.09 Block 9 Lot 70.

A public hearing having been held after due notice, this Board from the application and after viewing the premises and neighborhood concerned, finds:

There will be no undesirable change to the character of the neighborhood.

The proposed variance will not have an adverse effect or impact on the physical or environmental conditions in the neighborhood or district.

The variances are not substantial.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the application is hereby GRANTED as requested and as follows:

Stephens– Made Motion to grant a side yard variance of 4 ft.  and total side yard variance of 5 ft.

Waitkins – Second the Motion.

Vote – 5-0 – In Favor -  Stephens, Waitkins, Sapir, Rolnick, Barlow



Danny Oks, has applied to the Zoning Board of Appeals of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, request for a variance with respect to Section 230-9-A (4) of the Village Code for two side yard setback variances and one rear yard setback variance with respect to a proposed school.

The property, at 138 Maple Street, is located in a RB District and is designated on the Tax Maps of the Village as Section 79.05 Block 1 Lot 39.

A public hearing having been held after due notice, this Board from the application and after viewing the premises and neighborhood concerned, finds:

The variances are substantial, but because of the park across the street, and the young ages and limited number of Students, the impact on the neighborhood is limited.

The Board finds that the concerns of the neighbors regarding available parking on Maple  Street appears to be a temporary issue caused by increased parking on Maple Street due to the temporary lack of parking at the High School, which is presently under construction. The Board finds there is a need to have experience with the parking situation on Maple Street after the completion of the construction, before the requested variances can be granted without a time limitation.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the application is hereby GRANTED as follows:

Sapir – Made a Motion to Grant a variance from Section 230-9-A-(4) of the Village Code as follows and with the following conditions:

    Variances Granted:     96.8 ft. Easterly side yard variance
                                          86.4 ft. Westerly side yard variance
                                          10 ft.  Southerly rear yard variance

This Resolution shall also include ZBA variances that were granted in Resolutions dated December 10, 2004 and March 10, 2004.


1.      The variances granted by this Resolution shall co-terminate with the Special
Permit, which was granted by the Village Board on July 19, 2004, and expires
              on July 19, 2007, at which time the applicant is required to re-apply to the
              Village Board to re-instate the Special Permit.  The Zoning Board requires the
               applicant to re-apply to the Zoning Board and to obtain this Board’s approval to   
               continue the variances granted by this resolution beyond July 19, 2007.

2.      The school is limited to grades Kindergarten thru second grade.

3.      The number of students shall not exceed twenty-four (24).

4.      The school will operate on the ground floor with a maximum of four (4)

Barlow – Second the Motion

Vote:   4-1 – In Favor – Sapir, Barlow, Waitkins, Rolnick, -  In Favor
                                     Stephens – Against